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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, February 3, 2018

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength. - Eric Hoffer

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

BMC Racing Team ready to tackle the Dubai Tour

The team sent me this update:

2 February, 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team is heading back to the Dubai Tour, the first of three races in the Middle East this month, with a strong and balanced team ready to tackle the five-day stage race.

Sports Director Maximilian Sciandri said that the team will take the race day by day and look for opportunities as they arise. "For most of our riders, this will be their first race of the season. We will have to see how their form develops but we know that Jempy Drucker will be our go-to rider for the sprints and we will have Francisco Ventoso there to provide him with key support going into the fast finishes. Then, for the uphill finish to the Hatta Dam, I think Dylan Teuns will be a protected rider as we know he can climb well. However, we will also have other cards to play with riders like Loïc Vliegen and Nicolas Roche. Over the past few years, this race has been won by sprinters, but we are going to Dubai with the aim of getting the most out of every day" Sciandri explained.

Jempy Drucker and Dylan Teuns will both test their early season form in Dubai. "I'm feeling good ahead of the Dubai Tour. We have had two good training camps in January leading up to the race, and the winter was good for me, so I am looking forward to starting to race again. Of course, as it's my first race of the season, it will be good to get that race feeling in my legs again, but also, there are a lot of sprint stages so I will try to be up there. There will be strong sprinters in Dubai, and it is good to battle against them and see where I stand," Drucker said.

Jempy Drucker

Jempy Drucker having a good day at the 2017 Tour of Luxembourg.

"I am happy to start racing again after working hard over the winter. The main thing going into this race for me will be to get back into the rhythm of racing again. The parcours is not really suited to me, it is more of a sprinter's race, but it will be good to get the kilometers and speed in my legs again. Hopefully, I will be able to test myself properly on the stage to the Hatta Dam, but we will see how it goes. I am not putting too much pressure on myself going into the race," Teuns added.

Dubai Tour (6 - 10 February)

Rider Roster: Tom Bohli (SUI), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Nicolas Roche (IRL), Dylan Teuns (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Francisco Ventoso (ESP), Loïc Vliegen (BEL)

Sport Directors: Maximilian Sciandri (ITA), Steve Bauer (CAN)

Rigoberto Uran to lead EF Education First-Drapac at Oro y Paz

The team sent me this news:

Rigoberto Uran will lead EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale’s efforts at Colombia’s newest race, Oro y Paz. The six-stage affair has drawn a pack of Colombia’s finest stage racers and sprinters to compete in front of what promises to be an adoring and enthusiastic public.

Nate Brown, Julian Cardona, Hugh Carthy, Alex Howes, and Daniel Martinez will join Uran. The field for the “Gold and Peace” race is a homecoming for top-tier Colombian riders. With a start list that includes Nairo Quintana, Fernando Gaviria, Sergio and Sebastian Henao, Egan Bernal, Jarlinson Pantano, and Darwin Atapuma electric racing is all but guaranteed.

Oro y Paz runs from Monday February 6 until Sunday February 11. The opening stage begins in Palmira. The race concludes up the summit finish of Manizales.

Rigoberto Uran

Rigoberto Uran racing in the 2017 Tour de France, stage 12.

“I’m very happy because it’s the first time we’re going to do a race in Colombia. It’s been many years since we’ve raced in Colombia — approximately 11 years, and I’m really excited to find myself with the Colombian public again,” Uran said. “It’s beautiful and wonderful, and it’s going to serve Colombia well.”

The route, based in western Colombia, offers something for each type of rider. There’s three flat stages for sprinters to open up the race before a tick upward in the second half, notably on the final stage summit finish.

Juan Manuel Garate will serve as sport director for #PinkArgyle.

“We have Rigoberto there, and you know how Rigoberto is outside of Colombia, so you can imagine how many people are waiting for Rigo and the other Colombians who don’t normally race in Colombia — it’s going to be really interesting,” Garate said. “We have three days with uphill finishes, three days of opportunities. I’m really enthusiastic. I saw the riders climbing at camp and they look really, really nice.”

For Nate Brown, it’s a chance to see the Rigoberto Uran show in a new light. “I’m super excited to start the season down here in Colombia.  This is my first time to Colombia, and having Rigo on the team in his home country — I think we are in for a real treat,” said Brown.

Howes echoed Brown’s sentiment. “This place is absolutely amazing,” he said shortly after his arrival in Colombia. “I’m looking forward to helping Rigo put on a show for his home crowd. I’m also looking forward to improving my Spanish with three Colombians and an all Spanish-speaking staff down here.”

EF Education First - Drapac p/b Cannondale CEO Jonathan Vaughters’ take: “The race in Colombia is going to be the most important race of the year for the Colombian teams. It’ll be very competitive.

“I imagine the first three stages will end in field sprints every time. I’m not looking for anything spectacular from our team there. Then the last few days are more mountainous and there’s a hilltop finish. It’s not the huge, huge mountains of Colombia, but more explosive climbs down in the valley there. If Rigo is on his game I think he’ll be there with the very best and obviously looking to win the overall. Daniel Martinez could also be there.

“The general classification is our focus in the race. Whether or not they can pull of the win or a podium remains to be seen. February in South America, the local racers are at their peak; it’s the peak of their season there. This race is their Tour de France, so Rigo comes in as a little bit of an outsider compared to his compatriots on the Continental-level teams. We’ll see.”

EF Education First-Drapac for the 2018 Oro y Paz:

Sport Director: Juan Manual Garate (ESP)

Nate Brown (USA)
Julian Cardona (COL)
Hugh Carthy (GBR)
Alex Howes (USA)
Daniel Martinez (COL)
Rigoberto Uran (COL)

Team Movistar previews Volta a Valenciana queen stage

What was expected to be a decisive team time trial in the 59th Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana didn’t turned out so as foul weather conditions over the Costa Blanca on Friday evening forced the organisers and jury to not take the results of stage four into account for the overall standings. Thar way, Alejandro Valverde remained on top of the GC following a cautious, still-fast ride by the Spaniard and his six Movistar team-mates over the 23km course towards Calpe, where they finished 11th behind winners BMC.

Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde winning stage two.

Valverde’s fantastic win in Albuixech on Thursday got him into the yellow leader’s jersey before Saturday’s Queen stage: a 184km trek from Orihuela to the Alto de las Canteras (Cat-1) in Cocentaina, after the demanding climbs of Maigmó (Cat-2), Tibi (Cat-2), Carrasqueta (Cat-1) and 2x Benillup (Cat-3). Alejandro and the Movistar Team will defend their 4″ and 6″ gaps on Astana duo Sánchez / Fuglsang, with all other race contenders 29″ behind.

Alligator producing fiberglass shifting cables

When we owned Torelli, Alligator made cables for us that were simply superb. And now there is this advance as detailed by Bike Europe:

CHANGHUA, Taiwan – Alligator reduced the diameter of its shifting cable by 20% from five to four millimeters by using fiberglass.

Alligator used its experience in the automotive industry to develop the latest in bicycle shifting cables. For example the weight has been reduced by 50% by using fiberglass instead of metal.

On top of that fiberglass is more flexible and doesn’t corrode which guarantees easy shifting on the long term as well. Though shifting with fiberglass cables is much more accurate, according to Alligator it is eight percent better, it requires a little bit more force, especially when shifting up.

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